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Five Links 6/27/2020 Traci Kenworth

Image by Willgard Krause from Pixabay

Five Links 6/27/2020

Traci Kenworth


1. “In the comments to last Tuesday’s post, Kris asked me about the series of pulp-style stories I’m doing for my Patreon community. It doesn’t take much prompting to get a writer to talk about his work, now does it? So here I go.

My parents were friends with one of the most prolific pulp writers of his day, W. T. Ballard (who also had several pseudonyms). I was too young to realize how cool that was. I wish I’d been aware enough to ask him some intelligent questions about writing! (I’ve blogged about Ballard before.) Fortunately, I was the recipient of many of his paperback books and a collection of his stories for Black Mask about a Hollywood troubleshooter named Bill Lennox. Lennox was like a PI, but did his work for a studio. I thought that was a nice departure from pure detective.

So I decided to create a troubleshooter of my own. The first thing I did was write up a backstory for him:

WILLIAM “WILD BILL” ARMBREWSTER was born in 1899 in Cleveland,

2. “July 20th is just around the corner and so we thought we’d tee up one of the entries inside the newest volume in the Writers Helping Writers Descriptive Thesaurus series.” Their thesaurus book are always a help to me! Pick one up today!

3. “When we discuss our work with other writers, the word mood is sometimes used interchangeably with atmosphere. I see those two aspects of story as conjoined twins, marching along together. They are separate but intertwined so closely that they seem as one.

Mood happens in the background over the length of the story. Mood allows the emotions the writer instills into the story to be more specific, more intensely colored.

Atmosphere is also long-term but is part of worldbuilding. Atmosphere is conveyed by setting, which affects the overall mood of a piece.

Together, atmosphere and mood have the power to intensify the reader’s impression of the emotions experienced by the characters.

Emotion is immediate, short term. It exists in the foreground but works best when in conjunction with the overall atmosphere/mood.”

4. “Young Adult novels have come a long way from the classics we read in school.  Novels like S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders and J.D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye were first accepted into the newly coined category, Young Adult (YA) in the 1960’s. While YA literature focuses on adolescence and coming of age stories, it can span any genre and follows the rules within those types of writing.

YA also appeals to multi-generations of readers, evolving from the single-problem stories of an after school special to the mega-blockbusters we see today. One thing is for sure: readers of all ages are gobbling up these stories.

Writers today have questions about how this multifaceted category works, and whether their novel is actually YA. Below are tips to help you answer these questions. (Plenty of examples and ways to enhance your current story are included.)”

5. “Conflict is very often the magic sauce for generating tension and turning a ho-hum story into one that rivets readers. As such, every scene should contain a struggle of some kind. Maybe it’s an internal tug-of-war having to do with difficult decisions, morals, or temptations. Or it possibly could come from an external source—other characters, unfortunate circumstances, or the force of nature itself.

It’s our hope that this thesaurus will help you come up with meaningful and fitting conflict options for your stories. Think about what your character wants and how best to block them, then choose a source of conflict that will ramp up the tension in each scene.”

Research & Fun Bits:

1. “Oh, there you are… ah, the old ‘Tree-Beard’ with ‘Hobbit’ on shoulder shot from the wall painting at Pickering church if memory serves.

We have still to visit a goodly number of Hammer Stones in that vicinity if you remember? And as it is not too much of a hike…May we pencil that in for July sometime, perhaps?

We could utilise the New Inn as a base…our usual rooms.”

2. “Next morning we were once again up and away early, though this time our first stop was only a mile or two down the road and still on Bodmin Moor, a place where there must be as many legends as there are people who visit the place. We had come to pay our respects to a lake and to those who, so the stories tell us, reside within its depths.

Dozmary Pool is a small and isolated lake left behind by a glacier. Around it the remains of flint-working have been found, suggesting it was a gathering place for early Man and there are many prehistoric remains in the area. The waters of Dozmary feed nearby Colliford Lake and it is one of the sources of the River Fowey. There are no trees and no shelter, and although the ordinary world measures its depth at around ten feet, it is said to be bottomless. Perhaps it is, for the waters of Dozmary mirror only the vastness of the sky and the light that shimmers and sparkles in its wind-born ripples. You can imagine that at night, here where there are few traces of modern man, the still surface would reflect the stars and would indeed appear to hold infinity within its heart.”

3. “Harmony Kent is back on Story Empire today with #11 in How to Publish with KDP: How to Preview Your Book. This step is very important, and one that writers need to pay close attention to. Check out Harmony’s full instructions and illustrations to see just how to handle it. Don’t forget to pass the post along so others can check it out, as well, thanks. And thanks to Harmony for such a helpful post! 🙂

4. “Hi friends! I have a secret project coming out soon that I believe is very Instagram-friendly, so I thought I’d do a post about how to promote a book on Instagram. This is kind of a followup to another post: 200 Best Instagram Hashtags for Authors.

But even though I feel like I know a lot about other social media for writers, and I love connecting with people on Instagram (I’m here!), I could still learn a lot more about Instagram for authors.”

5. “Everyone loves an underdog.  At least that’s what people say.  These aren’t as easy to write as one would think.  You have a lot to consider and a delicate balance to maintain for the adventure.  What are some ways to make sure that happens?

  1. Know the definition of an underdog.  That means the hero is considered to have little or no chance of success.  It doesn’t mean that they are the strongest character in the story, but have a long walk ahead of them.  They need to be at a level below whatever they are facing to be a real underdog.
  2. The title doesn’t remain indefinitely.  Yes, I’m using two tips to drive this point home because people don’t get it.  An underdog can become powerful enough to be a real contender.  As soon as he or she wins, he is no longer an underdog as well.  The best example I can think of is Rocky Balboa.  He was the underdog in the first two movies since nobody thought he had a chance and he was lacking.  The rest of the series, he’s the champion or a powerful contender.  Don’t mistake a character being slightly weaker for having not chance either.  Yeah, he lost to Clubber Lang, but I still don’t believe he regained the underdog title.”

Some Things More Serious:





5. “Since March 2020, PublishDrive has been generating digital book sales reports, compiling hard-to-find data from various outlets, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google Play Books, libraries, regional stores, and more. They have now published their stats for April and May, months that saw much of the world’s population in lockdown.

The graph below presents the increase in sales in April (red bar) and May 2020 (blue bar) compared to the same months last year. One notable conclusion is that sales have increased for every single outlet, in some cases as much as almost 300%.”

Teaser Fiction & Poetry:






Book Reviews, Cover Reveals, & Author Interviews:

1. “Today is the official release of William Ritter’s second book in the Oddmire Series, THE UNREADY QUEEN. Readers and reviewers alike enjoyed book one in the Oddmire series, THE CHANGLING. Publishers Weekly said that “Ritter crafts a well-paced adventure filled with whimsy and peril, in which the bonds of family and love prove stronger than any spell or curse. With memorable characters—especially the irrepressible protagonists, who make a delightful team—and an atmospheric setting, this is a strong series opener.”  You should pick up THE CHANGLING and the THE UNREADY QUEEN today!”

2. “Happy Monday Everyone! Today I’m excited to have Niki Lenz here to share about her new MG humorous contemporary THE STEPMOM SKAKE-UP. It sounds like a great story that is funny but also deals with contemporary issues that middle graders go through. Niki is also the author of another MG funny book, BERNICE BUTTMAN, MODEL CITIZEN, which got fantastic reviews.

Here’s a blurb of THE STEPMOM SHAKE-UP from Goodreads

After Grace’s mom died, she and her dad grew extra close. They have special nicknames and are always busy with new projects-like building a puppy condo for their dog, Potus- and they love learning random facts about the US presidents. Grace thinks her little family of two is perfect.”

3. “Author and blogger, Mark Bierman, hosted Day 10 of my Sir Chocolate Books tour. Thank you, Mark. Do have a look around while you are there, Mark has an excellent book too called Vanished. You can read my review here:

Thank you to 4Wills Publishing for organising this tour and for creating the lovely promotional YouTube video.

Today I am excited to host talented author/cake decorator Robbie Cheadle. Together with her son, Michael, she has written a series of children’s books.”

4. “I am delighted to have the amazing Sally Cronin as my guest today as she tells us about her adventurous life as a child traveller.”

5. “Welcome back to the riverbank, my chuckaboos.  This segment continues the adventures of the passengers and crew during their shore leave in my fictional, Victorian Era version of Cairo, Illinois. 

Delightful blogger and fascinating person, Pat at e-Quips recently did a post about bells.  I stumbled upon it after I wrote this chapter, but Bells was a perfect random reader thing for today.  I only had to make a minor adjustment to use it.

Also, I was finally able to use a “thing” that was sent months ago from one of my original followers, author and translator, Olga Núñez Miret.  She comes up with such fabulous things, like Papyrus!”

Bestselling Audible Sellers: Becoming. Where the Crawdads Sing. Can’t Hurt Me. White Fragility. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Talking to Strangers. Atomic Strangers. Game of Thrones. How to Win Friends & Influence People. Trevor Noah.


I write YA as Traci Kenworth. I also write romance as Loleta Abi.

9 thoughts on “Five Links 6/27/2020 Traci Kenworth

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